EU Clears Intel's Purchase of McAfee

The European Union's competition authorities have cleared Intel's proposed acquisition of McAfee subject to certain conditions.

The European Commission had conducted an investigation into the planned deal amid fears that rival IT security products could be excluded from the marketplace due to Intel's strong position in the global computer chip market. The concern was that Intel would build security functions into its chips that would only work with McAfee products.

However, to alleviate those concerns, Intel made commitments to the Commission earlier this month that it would ensure the interoperability of the merged entity's products with those of competitors. On Wednesday, the Commission indicated that those promises had been sufficient and decided to approve the acquisition rather than continue with a further four-month probe.

The approval is conditional upon Intel's commitments to ensure fair competition between the parties and their competitors in the field of computer security.

The two companies announced the deal last August, with the world's largest chip maker paying approximately US$7.7 billion for the security company. Analysts have speculated that Intel wants to buy McAfee to help it win lucrative government contracts that have security as a concern.

The deal has already been approved in the U.S.

Follow Jennifer on Twitter at @BrusselsGeek or email tips and comments to jennifer_baker@idg.com.

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